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Biogenic Atmospheric Aerosols in Western Siberia

#2169


Study of Space- and Time-Dependent Variations of Biogenic Atmospheric Aerosols in Western Siberia, Evaluation of Possible Sources and Influence on the Health of the Region's Population

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-APC/Air Pollution and Control/Environment
  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment
  • ENV-MRA/Modelling and Risk Assessment/Environment

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
10.04.2001

Leading Institute
State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR, Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Koltsovo

Supporting institutes

  • Siberian Branch of RAS / Institute of Atmospheric Optics, Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Novosibirsk\nInstitute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion, Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Novosibirsk\nInstitute of Computational Mathematics and Mathematical Geophysics, Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Novosibirsk

Collaborators

  • Universität Mainz / Institut fur Physik der Atmosphare, Germany, Mainz\nPacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA, WA, Richland

Project summary

It has been established with certainly that the aerosol component of atmosphere produces a significant impact on the state of the environment and the health of the population. This is associated both with the immediate effect of aerosols on the climate and, intermediately, through it on the population and the transfer of different contaminants on the surface or in the volume of particles and at their penetration into human lungs.

Bioaerosols (spores of plants, fungi, bacteria, viruses, protein macromolecules, products of microorganisms’ vital activities, and particles with the remains of decaying live organisms) occupy a special place among atmospheric contaminants. Besides toxic and immunomodulatory effects, which are “traditional” for chemical compounds, such aerosols can cause and provoke allergic and infectious diseases. It is for this reason that investigation of the biological characteristics of atmospheric aerosols has evoked heightened interest worldwide.

Unfortunately, it should be noted that, in spite of a great number of published works on bioaerosol studies, this problem still remains poorly investigated. In our opinion, it is associated with a great variety and complexity of atmospheric aerosols as an object of investigation. No specific influence of the biogenic component of atmospheric aerosol on the climate has been revealed yet. That is why we intend to limit our work to the class of problems associated with the effect of bioaerosols on human health.

Monitoring is the basis of the whole study. The project supposes both on-land and high-altitude sampling for determination of the characteristics of the biogenic component of atmospheric aerosol. Sampling will be also accompanied by the study of atmospheric aerosol properties and meteorological parameters.

Solution of these problems requires the development of highly-efficient samplers, which allow “soft” large-volume sampling without damaging microorganisms. In fact, the concentration of microorganism-containing bioaerosols is not high, even for intensive anthropogenic sources, such as agricultural complexes where organic fertilizers are added to the soil. Such a concentration necessitates the collection of samples in cubic meters. It is also necessary to note the problems of detection of small amounts of high-molecular compounds and identification of microorganisms, including express identification with new methods.

After determining the composition of bioaerosols, their sources must be detected. For this purpose, packages of applied programs should be developed, to solve “direct” and “reverse” problems of contaminant distribution in the atmosphere, with account of the transformation of biological compounds and microorganisms in time. This should be a question of not only contaminant distribution in the lower atmosphere but also that of interregional and, possibly, planetary transfer of contaminants in connection with discussion of the hypothesis of possible transcontinental transfer of causative agents of infectious diseases.

Being aware of the location and intensity of bioaerosol sources, one can begin to evaluate their effect on the health of the population of any given region. Here it is of primary importance to study the regularities of transformation of biological compounds and microorganisms under the influence of various environmental factors, and to develop methods for evaluating the values of doses received from different sources and methods for predicting human reaction to the exposure.

Finally, all the obtained data should be correlated with the actual morbidity rate of the region’s population in order to confirm the impact of the revealed factors and their doses on human health.

At the last work stage recommendations will be given on improving public health by limiting or even completely excluding some of the revealed factors, which determine the observed state of the population’s health.

The most important fundamental work result will be a unique array of information on the composition of biogenic components of atmospheric aerosol in Western Siberia, evaluation of the location and intensity of sources forming it and the impact of the revealed factors on the state of the health of the region’s population.

In light of the above, there is no doubt that the monitoring of the biological component of atmospheric aerosol and analysis of the effect the latter produces on the health of the region’s population, is of some urgency. It will be possible to apply the approaches and methods, to be developed in the context of this project, to analysis of the ecological situation in other regions due to their novelty, urgency and applicability for the solution of concrete practical tasks.


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